Meet Jessica Budgett, Programme Manager at the NIDUS (New Interventions for Independence in Dementia) study at UCL in London.
- Film – Little Miss Sunshine.
- Way to spend time – I’ve recently started open water swimming and love it!
- Memory – I feel very nostalgic for live music so would have to be watching the singer Lizzo perform at Glastonbury in 2019.
Why dementia research?
Both my grandfathers had dementia and, during my MSc in cognitive and clinical neuroscience, I worked as an assistant psychologist in a memory clinic.
The stories of people I met there really moved and motivated me to work more with people living with dementia in the NHS.
Then, after working on dementia studies at UCL with some great teams, I felt inspired to continue with research.
How has Alzheimer’s Society supported your work?
Alzheimer’s Society funds the NIDUS (New Interventions for Independence in Dementia Study) programme that I manage, which is led by Professor Claudia Cooper at UCL.
The Society has supported us in so many ways – Research Network volunteers worked with us to design our new support programmes, and they help us to ensure our findings make a real difference to people affected by dementia.
I also feel very lucky to be doing a PhD funded by Alzheimer’s Society.
What are you currently working on?
Most people with dementia want to live in their own homes for as long as possible, with family and homecare support.
We’re testing the effectiveness of NIDUS-family – a way of providing psychological support for people with dementia and family members caring for them. It aims to help people keep their independence and a good quality of life at home for longer.
Join Dementia Research
Find out more about taking part in this and other great studies – call 0333 150 3456 and ask for the Join Dementia Research helpdesk or email us.
In my PhD, I’m looking at how we can use the personal goals of carers and people living with dementia to decide if our support has made a meaningful difference to them.
This is instead of using standard questionnaires that ask everyone the same things.
Dementia symptoms vary greatly and so do the ways people perceive different aspects of life. It’s important that researchers can measure whether support has affected people’s lives in ways that mean something to them.
In what direction would you like to take your research in future?
If shown to work, we’d like to see how NIDUS support can be adapted and implemented in practice.
I’d like to continue working to improve support from family members and paid carers, as we know how important this is in enabling people with dementia to live well.